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Colorado > Colorado Electoral Code > Conduct of Elections

1-7-108. Requirements of watchers

Overview of Statute

Neither candidates nor members of the candidate’s immediate family, including by marriage or civil union, may serve as poll watchers for the candidate. Additionally, watchers must take an oath administered by an election judge that affirms their status as an eligible elector, the submission of their name to a designated election official for approval as a watcher, and their vow to not release the results of vote counts prior to the poll’s closing. However, a watcher may maintain records containing the voting status of eligible voters during the election in order to later challenge ineligible electors and assist in the correction of discrepancies.


(1) Watchers shall take an oath administered by one of the election judges that they are eligible electors, that their name has been submitted to the designated election official as a watcher for this election, and that they will not in any manner make known to anyone the result of counting votes until the polls have closed.

(2) Neither candidates nor members of their immediate families by blood, marriage, or civil union to the second degree may be poll watchers for that candidate.

(3) Each watcher shall have the right to maintain a list of eligible electors who have voted, to witness and verify each step in the conduct of the election from prior to the opening of the polls through the completion of the count and announcement of the results, to challenge ineligible electors, and to assist in the correction of discrepancies.

Source: L. 92: Entire article R&RE, p. 734, § 9, effective January 1, 1993.L. 93: (1) amended, p. 1417, § 66, effective July 1.L. 2013: (2) amended, (HB 13-1303), ch. 185, p. 719, § 62, effective May 10.

Editor’s note: This section is similar to former § 1-7-105 as it existed prior to 1992.

Cross references: In 2013, subsection (2) was amended by the “Voter Access and Modernized Elections Act”. For the short title and the legislative declaration, see sections 1 and 2 of chapter 185, Session Laws of Colorado 2013.

Law reviews. For article, “Watchers in Colorado Elections”, see 43 Colo. Law. 37 (June 2014).

Annotation: June 16, 2016 9:26 pm

According to the rules, “watcher” has the same meaning as in section 1-1-104(51), C.R.S.
(a) Watchers may be appointed for a recall election by each qualified successor candidate, the proponents and opponents of the recall ballot question, and each participating political party for a partisan recall election.
(b) For the purpose of appointing a watcher, the proponent or opponent of a ballot measure means a registered issue committee supporting or opposing the ballot measure.
(c) A designated watcher need not be a resident of the county he or she is designated in as long as he or she is an eligible elector in the State of Colorado.

Definition [Designated election official]

The secretary of state, a county clerk and recorder, or other election official as provided by article XXI of the state constitution. C.R.S. § 1-12-100.5.

Definition [Title]

A brief statement that fairly and accurately represents the true intent and meaning of the proposed text of the initiative.

Definition [Section]

A bound compilation of initiative forms approved by the secretary of state, which shall include pages that contain the warning required by section 1-40-110 (1), the ballot title, the abstract required by section 1-40-110 (3), and a copy of the proposed measure; succeeding pages that contain the warning, the ballot title, and ruled lines numbered consecutively for registered electors’ signatures; and a final page that contains the affidavit required by section 1-40-111 (2). Each section shall be consecutively prenumbered by the petitioner prior to circulation.

Definition [Election]

Any election under the “Uniform Election Code of 1992” or the “Colorado Municipal Election Code of 1965”, article 10 of title 31, C.R.S. C.R.S. § 1-7.5-103.

Definition [Candidate]

Any person who seeks nomination or election to any state or local public office that is to be voted on in this state at any primary election, general election, school district election, special district election, or municipal election. “Candidate” also includes a judge or justice of any court of record who seeks to be retained in office pursuant to the provisions of section 25 of article VI. A person is a candidate for election if the person has publicly announced an intention to seek election to public office or retention of a judicial office and thereafter has received a contribution or made an expenditure in support of the candidacy. A person remains a candidate for purposes of this article so long as the candidate maintains a registered candidate committee. A person who maintains a candidate committee after an election cycle, but who has not publicly announced an intention to seek election to public office in the next or any subsequent election cycle, is a candidate for purposes of this article. Section 2(2) of article XXVIII of the state constitution.

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